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Lake (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Frank D. Gilroy
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

It was 46 years ago that Frank D. Gilroy won the Pulitzer Prize for his play "The Subject Was Roses," and 43 years since he began work on "Lake." In the vein of Edgar Lee Masters's "Spoon River Anthology," Gilroy tells the story of a summer vacation community in Northern New Jersey over the course of 25 years, the early 1920's through the late '40's. Each chapter is the voice of another character; some are monologues, some more interior than that. The story works its way around the lake, catching a vignette/snapshot/moment from each turn of the wheel. It's a remarkable read from an 86-year-old writer, still at the top of his game.

Editorial Reviews Review

Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank Gilroy's Kindle Single introduces a dizzying array of characters that make up the "Lake" community--a summer retreat by (poor) design. Shallow water pipes in many of the properties don't allow running water in the winter months, an architectural quirk that a clever real-estate agent uses to his advantage: "Year round water would invite year round residence by people who are..." "not our kind," one prospective buyer finishes. This, as it turns out, is a selling point, which hints at the prejudices of the part-time populace. Indeed, much of the first half of Lake reads like a G-rated Desperate Housewives. It's only with the help of a blink-and-you-miss cameo from Mae West, and an offhanded mention of John Dillinger, that you realize the tenuous time in history in which the Lake residents inhabit, and that soon World War II will encroach upon their more or less carefree lives, exposing their petty predispositions. Gilroy's subtle tale takes its time, but Lake is ultimately a poignant reminder to cherish simple pleasures. You never know when life will send you a draft notice--and change the world as you know it, forever. --Erin Kodicek

Product Details

  • File Size: 121 KB
  • Print Length: 62 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062QWQ5I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,556 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This Kindle Short by Frank Gilroy has more drama, humor, orgiastic sex ("and then at his touch, EXPLOSION!"), pathos and above all poignancy than a big brick of a novel five times its length, and "Lake," I'll go out on a limb here, stands beside "Our Town" in its perception and in the way it succeeds in evoking another time, a different place.

It's a story of a New Jersey summer community on the shores of a lake, a fully realized anecdotal account that spans a generation beginning in the 1920s. In a relatively few number of pages, "Lake" manages to be sprawling in its very large cast of characters.

Told in vignettes, "Lake" is a collection of sketches that could as easily be performed as read. We get glimpses into the lives of summer and year-round residents, including a fetching snippet of Mae West who is seen being rowed around the lake by her secretary to the delight of the men watching from the shore and docks.

Most of the vignettes, some no longer than a sentence or two, tell a complete story. Some in a single paragraph capture the arc of an entire life. For instance, Fanny prefers her proper name but can't escape the flighty persona the nickname implies. "When I married Walter Church and signed the register `Frances' I felt a great relief. By the time I realized it was Fanny he loved, we had a child. As Fanny I have what actors covet: a role to my dying day."

Well into the story, draft notices start arriving in mailboxes and the tone shifts to somber and even plaintive as the war clouds roll in over the Lake.

Mrs. David had a habit of blowing a whistle - twice long, once short - to call her boy home. Even though he was teased by the other children, he always obeyed his mother's summons.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Surprise November 5, 2011
By Wilkie
Format:Kindle Edition
Was trolling singles to get my feet wet and ordered this on a whim. We had a three hour flight and I opened it on the plane. What a surprise. I loved it and I am not sure if I've ever read anything quite like it. Handing it off to my brother for a second opinion to make sure it's as affecting and precise as I as thought. It's like a soul census of someplace that feels very real and unreal at the same time. I am not sure how to describe it so I won't, but will say this, it took me there all the way and when we landed I felt like I had travelled much farther than San Diego.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost poetry November 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is historical fiction set in the years before WWII at a lake in New Jersey that has a summer community. The story is told in many brief vignettes that average about a page in length. The writing style is spare and evocative, almost like poetry. I truly enjoyed the book - possibly because I live on a lake with a similar history.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW November 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a BEAUTIFULLY written book. I too was just looking around for something to pass the time, and was lucky enough to come by this incredible author and unforgettable story. I feel like I've won the lottery....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through time at the Lake February 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Frank D. Gilroy's "Lake" is a wonderful tale of a New Jersey vacation community at a lake, and spans 25 years from the 1920's through World War II. It is written in a series of vignettes which are short, and tell about a lake resident or something that happens, or a short piece where one of the summer residents "speaks." The lake community has no water in the winter because the Property Owners Association doesn't want just anyone living there year round.

The Kindle Single follows the residents who are there mainly from Memorial Day to Labor Day and we are fortunate to listen in at the Poetry Club meetings as well as some private conversations. Throughout the story, we hear from each person at the Lake, and share in their lives and especially their summers.

There is a lot of humor in "Lake" as well as sadness and unfulfilled dreams and the consequences of war. It's a very good look at the characters who make up the summer lake community.

The writing is superb and Frank D. Gilroy is a Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning author. "Lake" makes for very enjoyable reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pretentious and self-indulgent May 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gilroy has some potentially interesting characters but he obscures their stories with a pretentious and self-conscious style that gets in the way at every turn. Cannot understand the 5s for this pap.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book was not for me June 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read only 17 per cent could not get into this book. Just snippets of writing about the place not very interesting. I might try again if I had nothing else to read. The book may pick up further along, but I like a book that grabs me from page one. Sorry if this puts others off the book, but it how I feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It March 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a great deal. I didn't think I would at first because the story is told in a style of many little stories which do not flow from one to the next. That said, it works nicely the way Gilroy has done it. The writing is beautiful, and almost poetic at times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving tale
This story builds up a momentum as it ends that combines heartbreak and hope. The writing is superb, the characters vivid and believable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. Akers
2.0 out of 5 stars Dont like it
I didnt like it, characters were dull, place hadnt atmosphere and it just didnt work. And if there were emotions I didnt find them.
Published 13 months ago by Lenka Chaloupkova
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Story, Superbly Crafted.
I was blown away as I read this story. It is beautifully written, and truly a privilege to read. It is a story which is superbly built, vignette by vignette, so the whole town is... Read more
Published 17 months ago by S.E. Morton
4.0 out of 5 stars Lake - Review
I enjoyed this memoir . He has a natural style that is pleasant to read . He comes across as a kind man - with fond
memories of all the individuals
Published 20 months ago by raymond cuthbert davison
2.0 out of 5 stars confusing
While I understand the idea of the book the stories didn't seem to tie together enough to keep book flowing.
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not finished reading this one yet.
I haven't finished reading this one yet so I really don't have too much to say about it. Let you know more when I am finished.
Published 22 months ago by SUSAN J. BORDONARO
3.0 out of 5 stars A diary about summer on a lake.
The book was for light reading, not much in the way of deep thoughts, just a story about social status differences that exist around a popular summer getaway which is in decline. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Charles Spratt
4.0 out of 5 stars Cottage Living Society
Good short story, anyone spending time at a summer lake will recognize the different personalities and sub-plots. Read more
Published on February 11, 2013 by johnac1981
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable
Its been a couple of years sInce I've read Lake. Although the specifics of the stories are no longer with me, I recall it being a pleasure to read and look forward to reading it... Read more
Published on January 22, 2013 by Ishmeal
2.0 out of 5 stars I did not get it
I read a lot of books of all genre. This book baffled me. I did not understand the literary style being used. Sorry, I did not finish the book.
Published on December 30, 2012 by Boudreaux
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More About the Author

From Frank D. Gilroy -- a prolific and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (The Subject Was Roses), screenwriter (Desparate Characters), novelist (From Noon Till Three) and, most recently, author of a best-selling Kindle Single (Lake) -- comes this chilling memoir of a young soldier in World War II confronting the nightmare of death. This isn't the battle cry of a war hero; it's the confessions of a young man pressed into service and searching for answers. In Gilroy's spare yet muscular prose, this saga of a young private's journey becomes a universal story of manhood and military life, told from the ground level of combat.

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